This is Part 2 of a three-part series [Read Part 1]
I’ve always been on a mission to “create from rather than be defined by.” While it’s been my mission all along, it’s taken almost forty years to see and accept it.
I’ve felt alone most of my life. Until recently, I grieved for being different all those years. I was, and still am, direct, too passionate (some would say intense), assertive, unorthodox and have big presence. And it wasn’t just my personality, it was my physicality too. I high-jumped for over 20 years when track and field was relatively unknown. And by the age of 12, I stood 5 foot 11 where all my friends hovered around 5 feet. Most days I felt like Gandalf in the Shire.
I blamed others for not being able to be with me. I made up that I was too much for them and believed it as the only truth because that’s also what I was told. I allowed these elements of my story to guide my actions, shape my experiences, keep me blind to living authentically.
All I ever wanted was to feel like I belonged.
This simple statement created a story in my life that also blocked me to appreciate my differences as gifts.
In Part 1, the focus was to look beyond your surface wisdom, to explore the depths of who you are by acknowledging your preferences, personality elements and presence. In doing so, become aware to your energy and how it impacts others.
In order to sustain the spark initiated from the first article, you’ll need to understand, appreciate and accept your true nature—by getting to really know your story and belief structure.
So, I’m going to tell you now… get over yourself. Your old stories and beliefs won’t serve you moving forward. That’s my no-sugar coating statement for the day. This isn’t intended to criticize or judge past decisions or actions. It is just what it is.
How have your life experiences, your values, personality traits, energy, quirks and talents informed the person you’ve become?
Acceptance + Beliefs = Behaviour
You hold the power of mindset. Self-love, compassion and highlighting your limiting beliefs are the lenses to which greater peace, happiness and connection can be achieved.
Start with revolutionizing your story—is it on replay?
Life experiences and self-limiting beliefs are core elements that make up your story. You’re always growing, changing, evolving… but is your story? What once may have served, no longer holds a place in your future. When our stories play over and over again on a loop, we continue to be blind to mindfully being.
Uncovering your story
If you reflected back on your life, what would your life experiences reveal about you? How do your personal inventory items and insight from Part 1 align with your belief systems? How have you integrated these facts into your life?
One way to uncover more about your story is to dive deep and experience it. Explore different ways to access memories, emotions, and the colours of your life by decades, life milestones, or by reflecting on specific categories such as family, friends, challenging times, personal discoveries, spiritual awakenings, accomplishments, goals or desires.
Our stories are so deeply woven in us, it’s how we communicate in our worlds. The more you can reveal and discover of your story, the more you’ll notice how current it is or isn’t, and what areas might need to evolve.
Writing exercise to discover your story and self-limiting beliefs
Consider this 20 minute exercise; use any of the suggestions above to help as thought starters.
- Set a timer for every 5 minutes and write
- First set: Write out your story in a stream of consciousness. Don’t fuss over grammar, punctuation, run on sentences, or even having it make sense. Just write.
- Second set: Shift gears slightly and write about how you got to where you are in this stage of your life. Was it by design, fluke, luck?
- Third set: How do you hold yourself back? What identity have you given yourself as a result (i.e. I am too much, not enough, don’t belong, invisible, etc.). How has this manifested in different experiences?
- Fourth set: What leads you to peace and happiness?
Notice how much of what you wrote is based in past beliefs. How might you be creating your future based on information that no longer holds true? Where can you be more mindful and present in your life?
Self-limiting beliefs have a voice. In fact, there can be several voices talking all at once, each representing something different about aspects in your life. Similar to uncovering your energy behaviour patterns in the first article, identifying how you listen to your accomplices for guidance may not be obvious.
Perhaps you’re a perfectionist who frustrates easily, in particular with others who don’t hold similar standards. Maybe you have a strong need for acceptance, using most of your energy to help others, neglecting yourself. Or do you hide insecurities well, always overachieving in order to self-validate? Perhaps your emotions get in the way, leaving you feeling that nobody understands you and the world seems to always be against you. Are you constantly on the lookout for danger? Skeptical that something is bound to go wrong? Maybe the opposite describes you best—always searching for the next thing; rarely settling and are easily distracted. Do you try to control situations and feel intimidated when things don’t go your way? Or, does even keel best describe you; purposefully avoiding unpleasant or difficult things?
These are just some examples of the accomplices to your old stories and beliefs. They can be quite savvy in disguising themselves as truths. Which one(s) resonated? How might you update your story, create from it, using your personal inventory items, knowing more clearly now who your accomplices might be?
As you go through your week, watch out for the accomplices. Notice your behaviour at home, work, across the different relationships you’re involved in and how you’re envisioning your future. Your beliefs have been in place for so long, and probably for the most part, based on past information.
Next week, we’ll focus on the healing journey to create the awareness needed to mindfully practice and live authentically.